All J.League Matches thru March 15 to Be Put Off over Virus


Tokyo, Feb. 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Professional Football League, or J.League, on Tuesday decided to postpone all 94 official matches slated through March 15 amid the spreading new coronavirus.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Japanese soccer league's board of directors in Tokyo the same day, in line with the view shown by a government expert panel on Monday that the next one or two weeks are crucial as to whether the virus will spread rapidly or can be brought under control.

It is the first time for major professional sporting events to be put off in Japan due to the ongoing outbreak of the virus originating in China.

"We've made a very big decision," J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai told a press conference. "We concluded that we need to cooperate" in response to the view from the panel of experts, he said.

To be postponed are matches at the J1 top, J2 second and J3 third divisions, as well as first-round matches for the Levain Cup. The J.League aims to restart official matches on March 18 while trying to avoid as much as possible setting alternative dates for the matches to be put off during the period for the Tokyo Olympics between late July and early August.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press